Project Overview

The Canaveral Harbor Federal Sand Bypass Project periodically dredges sand from the beach north of the Port Canaveral Entrance Channel and places it to the beach south of the channel using a hydraulic dredge and pipeline.  The fifth installation of the project (“Phase V”) will be constructed in December 2018 – April 2019.  Approximately 1,340,000 cubic yards of sand will be dredged from the beach and nearshore seabed along the Cape Canaveral Air Station, within about 1.6 miles north of the inlet, and placed to the beach along the City of Cape Canaveral and north Cocoa Beach, within 3.5 miles south of the inlet.  The sand will be placed continuously from Jetty Park to about 0.6 miles south of the Cocoa Beach Pier (that is, just north of the SR 520 Cocoa Beach causeway).

A hydraulic cutter-suction dredge will excavate sand from along the Air Force beach between the high tide shoreline and about 18-ft water depth, pump the sand with seawater through a 24-inch diameter pipeline laid across the bottom of the inlet channel, and then place the sand from the pipe to the beach along 3.5-miles of shoreline south of the inlet.  The sand placement operation will begin about ¼ mile south of the inlet’s south jetty, move northward to place sand along Jetty Park, and then commence placing sand southward from Jetty Park to just south of the Cocoa Beach Pier.  The sand fill placement will progress southward along the beach by about 100 to 150 feet per day.  The overall operation is anticipated to begin around the first week of December 2018 and conclude in mid-April 2019.  All of the work needs to be completed before the beginning of the main marine turtle nesting season, which begins about May 1.

For safety purposes, areas of the beach within about 500 feet of the construction activity will be temporarily closed while the sand placement progresses southward along the shoreline.  (The construction involves heavy equipment – such as bulldozers and payloaders – and high-pressure water and sand discharge onto the beach.)   Temporary beach closures at any given access location may last 2 to 4 days as the construction moves alongshore, during which time the beach can be accessed at an adjacent location to the north or south.  Except during high surf when the dredge cannot safely work, construction activity will proceed more or less continuously during day and night, 7 days per week.

Beginning in early March, with the start of early marine turtle nesting and shorebird activity, the beach along the dredging and placement areas will be monitored daily for marine turtles and shorebird breeding.  (The daily monitoring will continue after construction, through Autumn.)  Marine turtle nests that might be affected by the construction activity will be relocated to beach locations outside of the work area.

The sand bypass project is contracted and managed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District.  The Canaveral Port Authority is the local, non-federal sponsor.  The construction contractor for the 2018-19 project is Norfolk Dredging Company of Chesapeake, Virginia.  Project construction and administration is funded 100% by the US Army Corps of Engineers.    The Canaveral Port Authority provides additional fiscal and logistical support as the project’s permittee and through project related physical and environmental monitoring during and after construction.  Additional logistical support is also provided by the USAF 45th Space Wing, Cape Canaveral Air Station, and Brevard County Natural Resource Management Department, along with the City of Cape Canaveral and the City of Cocoa Beach.

This is the fifth construction of the Canaveral Harbor sand bypass project since its inception in 1995.  The project has been previously constructed in Spring 1995 (about 960,000 cubic yards bypassed), Spring 1998 (about 1,030,000 cubic yards bypassed), Fall 2007 (about 750,000 cubic yards bypassed), and Spring 2010 (about 700,000 cubic yards bypassed).

Since 1995, the sand bypass project has transferred about 3,440,000 cubic yards of sand by dredge & pipeline across the Canaveral Harbor inlet.  This replaces the natural north-to-south littoral drift of sand that is otherwise interrupted by the inlet’s channel and jetties.  The objective is to construct the project on a nominal 6-year cycle, more or less, moving the equivalent of about 156,000 cubic yards per year, on average.  Since it is almost 9 years since the project’s last construction event (owing to funding delays), the 2018/19 project will move a much larger volume of sand – and place it further alongshore – than any of the previous four bypass projects; that is, approximately 1,340,000 cubic yards placed along 3.5 miles of shoreline.

For additional information, visit the FAQ tab on this website and see the weekly update maps of the project’s construction progress.